Beurre Rouge Sauce

Whatever you do, do not throw that pan into the dishwasher! A lot of great flavor is locked on the bottom, waiting to be released.

We are making a red butter, or beurre rouge sauce with the pan drippings. It is made the same as a classic beurre blanc [burr BLAHNGK]. One uses red wine (rouge) and the other uses white wine (blanc).

They are both made the same way using shallots, vinegar, wine, and cold butter. For this beurre rouge, substitute Madeira (a dark, strong wine) for the red wine. That makes the sauce stronger, and a better match for steak.

As soon as the steaks are done, lower the heat to medium, wait two minutes, and then add the shallots, see Step 1.

Add the shallots before the wine, so they can brown (also called caramelizing). You are looking for maximum flavor to match-up with the robust steak. Caramelizing the shallots brings out that extra flavor.

Just as soon as the shallots have browned (1-2 minutes), de-glaze the pan by adding the Madeira and balsamic vinegar, see step 2. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen up all that good stuff. That will give the sauce tons of flavor.

Cook and stir the sauce until it is reduced to half of what you started out with. One way to check this is to look for rings inside the pan, telling you where the level used to be. You can also repeatedly tip the pan, sending all the sauce to one side. Establish a mark and keep checking the level.

It is important to reduce all the way to half, because that is what concentrates the flavor. Now start whisking in cold butter, one tablespoon at a time, see Step 3. Stir slowly and steadily, waiting until one piece of butter has melted before adding the next.

This part takes a little patience. But it is also important in making sure the sauce develops the right (very smooth!) texture, see Step 4.

These butter sauces are delicate, so they do not hold long (10 to 15 minutes, tops). Immediately pour a little sauce over each steak, see Step 5. Then garnish with cracked pepper.

* I would like to give you nutritional information, but I am too embarrassed, with all that butter. I want you to try this sauce though, because it is truly a French classic. If you are concerned about the fat, one to two tablespoons is all you use. And that little bit is not gonna hurt your diet.


Saute in Same Pan: 2 medium shallots, minced Deglaze with, and Reduce: 3/4 cup Madeira wine 2 T. Balsamic vinegar Whisk in Slowly, one at a time: 10 T. unsalted butter Season with: Salt and pepper to taste Garnish with: Cracked black pepper

Beurre Rouge Sauce

TWO: Now deglaze the pan by adding wine and vinegar. Stir with your whisk, scrap- ing the bottom to loosen up the meat residue. Keep cooking until the liquid has been reduced by half.

Beurre Rouge Sauce

FOUR: It takes a while to incorporate all the butter — if you do it right. The key is to take your time (it might take 8 to 10 minutes). If you rush it, the sauce might break (separate).

Beurre Rouge Sauce

ONE: As soon as you remove the steak, lower the heat to medium and add the shallots. Saute them for only 1 to 2 minutes — just until they turn light brown.

Beurre Rouge Sauce

THREE: Once the liquid is reduced, start whisking in cold butter, one tablespoon at a time. Get each piece of butter melted and fully stirred in before adding the next tablespoon.

Beurre Rouge Sauce

FIVE: Beurre rouge sauce does take a little time, but it is worth it. You bet it is rich. This sauce is intense — just a couple tablespoons will be all you need for each steak.*